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Ohio coalition emphasizes their fight for 'fair districts' as supreme court deliberates

Daniel Konik
Statehouse News Bureau
Equal Districts Ohio, a coalition of community organizations, is reiterating their support for fair maps that reflect a 54% Republican to 46% Democratic split in proportion to Ohio House, Ohio Senate, and Congressional districts.

All eyes are on the Ohio Supreme Court to find out if the latest state legislative and congressional district maps will be found constitutional.

Equal Districts Ohio, a coalition of community groups, says the supreme court should invalidate the state House and state Senate maps adopted by the Ohio Redistricting Commission because they do not reflect the state's partisan makeup.

The group reiterated their court challenge during an event at the Ohio Statehouse Tuesday.

The Ohio Organizing Collaborative, which filed one of the three lawsuits challenging the legislative maps, is part of Equal Districts Ohio.

It says maps should split with 54% of the districts leaning in favor of Republicans and 46% of the districts leaning in favor of Democrats.

Robert Davis, political and legislative director for AFSCME Ohio, says the maps do not follow the anti-gerrymandering changes added to the constitution by an overwhelming vote.

"Those individuals wanted to see this process changed. They said it was too one sided. And to see the Republican-led Legislature and redistricting committee put their thumb on the scale to tip things in their favor — it's just not a fair process at all," says Davis.

The coalition is asking the court to deem a map drawn by Stanford University Professor Jonathan Rodden constitutional and order the redistricting commission to hold a vote on that map.

The court is currently reviewing objections to the state legislative district maps adopted on February 24 and the congressional district map adopted on March 2.

Republican legislative leaders have said they do not want to postpone the date of the May 3 primary but added that they would reconsider if the court rules against any of the pending maps.

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